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Attractions

Trial Bay Gaol 

Arakoon State Conservation Area is located three kilometres east of South West Rocks. This reserve is home to Trial Bay Gaol (1886), a picturesque ruin which was built as a public works prison but was also used as a World War I internment camp. The gaol is surrounded by rocky foreshores and pleasant sandy beaches. 

Wander through the gaol museum, explore the ruins or relax on the beach. Stroll over Monument Hill to the Little Bay picnic area, or enjoy the spectacular half-day walk from the picnic area to historic Smoky Cape Lighthouse in Hat Head National Park. Around the gaol there are picnic areas and facilities for Picnicking, easy bushwalks, sightseeing, surfing, swimming, beach and rock fishing are all available. 

Location: Cardwell Street, South West Rocks, Kempsey Area, New South Wales, Australia Smoky Cape Lighthouse 

Smoky Cape 

Lighthouse was built on the deserted headland in 1891 and life for its keepers and their families was one of isolation, hardship and self-reliance. The lighthouse is the most elevated in NSW and is still operational, but these days a stay in the keepers' cottages is nothing short of heavenly. Lighthouse tours can be arranged on request and a fascinating audio display is open anytime. At 128 metres above sea level and cradled in Hat Head National Park’s wilderness, you will feel as though you are on the top of the world and the end of the earth.

Scuba Dive Fish Rock Cave 

Fish Rock Cave is Australia's best ocean cave dive, and voted among the top ten dive sites in Australia, Fish Rock is located just over two kilometres off Smoky Cape at South West Rocks on the New South Wales Mid North Coast.  

The thrill of entering a 125 metre long cave and travelling right through the centre of a small island is one dive that you will not want to miss. As well as the cave itself, Fish Rock is home to such an amazing array of marine life that you will easily understand how the island came to be named. This is a dive location that must be included in your dive itinerary! 

Fish Rock and Green Island are critical habitat areas for the Grey Nurse sharks, which live here in large numbers all year round.

The Fishing

The mix of tropical and temperate species is the first and most obvious part of the place's attraction. Spanish mackerel, spotted mackerel, cobia, dolphin fish, rainbow runner, longtail tuna, wahoo and sailfish are all seasonally common or at least reasonably available.

To southern anglers limited to yellowfin tuna, marlin and yellowtail kingfish the chance to tangle with tropical species only five to six hours drive north of Sydney is highly attractive. The bonus is that the yellowfin, marlin and kings are here too, often in numbers not seen further south.

Marlin December to mid April, large numbers of small blacks. Blue and striped marlin on the shelf all year round.

Fishing Seasons

  • Spotted Mackerel December to June.
  • Spanish Mackerel Late January to June.
  • Cobia December to August.
  • Dolphin Fish January to June, (March, April, May best).
  • Longtail and Mackerel Tuna February to August.
  • Yellowtail Kingfish All year round.
  • Big Tailor (2 5 Kg.) May, June, July.
  • Snapper/Offshore Bottom Fish January to October.
  • Bar Cod/Lge. Deepwater Species May to October.
  • Mulloway All year round.
  • Yellowfin Tuna/A1bacore/Marlin August to October. 
  • Lge Estuary Flathead November to February.
  • Bream/Whiting/Flathead All year round.
  • Bass October to April.

Country Club

The South West Rocks Country Club was established in April 1958, and has developed into the largest club on the Macleay River.

South West Rocks Surf Club
Located on Main Beach

Smithtown Riverview Hotel

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 10AM 

The Smithtown Riverview Hotel is only 15 minutes away from most tourist areas in the Kempsey Macleay region on the Mid North Coast of NSW, and is situated right on the water, which makes for a relaxing place to take all of the family.

LARGE BEER GARDEN - FOOD - BEER - BOATING FACILITIES - PRIVATE FUNCTIONS WELCOME - TAB - EFTPOS - LIVE ENTERTAINMENT 

You will appreciate the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the Smithtown Riverview Hotel. There is plenty to do and talk about at the hotel which features a children's playground, a large screen for sport events, pool tables, Austar, Sky, TAB & Keno. There are also boating facilities, should you arrive by boat, and of course great dining
http://www.riverviewhotel.net.au/

Big River Environmental Services EcoTours

  • 4X4 NATIONAL PARK TOURS, BEACH DRIVING, HINTERLAND, ECOTOURS and BUSHWALKING
  • FISHING - Beach Estuary Freshwater
  • WINERIES & BUSH PUB Tour 
  • 4X4 TAG ALONG 
  • Surfing, Snorkeling, Mountain Bike Riding
  • AIRPORT - TRAIN TRANSFERS -FROM PORT MACQUARIE, COFFS HARBOUR KEMPSEY
  • BIRD WATCH
  • WHALE WATCH

Travel in a comfortable Land Rover Discovery 4X4 (Max 4 people) to beautiful places on the Mid North Coast:
70km of coastline including: the beaches between South West Rocks, Hat Head, Crescent Head and Port Macquarie Hinterland locations and mountain lookouts in the Upper Macleay Valley We can also guide you on bushwalks around the headlands or in the fantastic mountainous country and rainforests of the Upper Macleay Valley.

Your guide will show you the sights and the local ecology. Your guide is a keen fisherman, surfer, diver, bird watcher, bushwalker and will share their knowledge with you. We supply fishing, snorkeling, surfing equipment.
If you want to go beach, estuary or fresh water fishing you do not need to buy a recreational fishing permit as we have one that covers you for the day. Let us show you how to catch a fish.

Follow us in your own 4x4. We can teach you how to use your 4wd beach driving and off road. We carry 4x4 recovery equipment if you want to do some real hard core 4x4 driving.

We also offer a tour that travels via the bush tracks of the Upper Macleay to visit wineries and bush pubs.

  • Email osbornemaxy@hotmail.com
  • Phone +61 (02) 65666801
  • Mobile 0408515818

Further Information

For more information visit the South West Rocks Visitor Information Centre at the historic Boatman Cottage in Ocean Avenue and take time to absorb its marvellous maritime display.

Children's playgrounds at Horseshoe Bay Park and Little Bay Picnic area.

To see kangaroos head to Little Bay or New Entrance, and feed the ducks at Overshot Dam, also known as the Duck Pond. 

Walk the dog leash free on Front Beach between Wrecks and the old Fisherman's Hut.

Beach driving, for permit holders only, is permitted on the southern end of South Smoky Beach. For information and beach driving permits, maps and regulations contact Kempsey Shire Council on (02) 6566 3200.